The Punjabi scout approached Fane and Zephyr. “What seems to be the problem, Chief?” he demanded, eyeing Fane like a rotting piece of meat. Fane withered under the man’s relentless gaze. Zephyr, oblivious to the Punjab scout’s influence on Fane, responded, “Don’t worry yourself, Orlov, Anson here just has a fever. I’ll see him to the infirmary and come back to continue with the test.”
The blonde man reached out and grabbed Fane by the chin. Fane found himself pinned under amber eyes and a foreboding glance of dismissal. His cheeks burned when the man’s gaze fell to his lips, and his palms began to sweat. Orlov, directing his comment to Zephyr, never took his eyes off of Fane. “It would do your Sergeant some good to come to work sober.” Orlov let go of him roughly and walked away to the field to watch the other troops continue with their exercises.
“Damn it,” Fane whispered, gripping his hands tight. He was embarrassed, and still in pain. He’d end up missing the assessment too, which meant he’d have to make it up over the weekend -six days away.
Zephyr clapped him on the shoulder and steered him away from the hill. He directed the short redhead to a building beyond the mess hall. “I take it you did more than just your girl last night?” he asked in a more serious tone. Fane hunched forward, his stomach searing.
Alarms blared and strobes flashed in a nauseating cacophony.
“What’s going on with the subject?” a rough voice called into the packed room. Lab coats were fluttering this way and that, collecting reams of paper spewing from various machines.
“A transpiration notice has been issued, General Kuro. Subject 15 has began the countdown,” a lab tech announced, excitedly pouring over the papers coming out of a machine.
“Does anyone know the triggering mechanism?” the General requested.
“Nothing verified yet sir, but we will have answers soon,” a different tech answered.
“When you find it, let me know immediately. I will have my channel open for receiving you night or day,” the general announced as he left the room.